Can I Own a Stun Gun in California?
Protecting yourself and your family can be a constant worry in today’s society, and owning a stun gun can help put your mind at ease. Also referred to as a taser, a stun gun is a defensive weapon that uses an electric shock to incapacitate another person. They generally work only at close range and typically do not cause lasting harm to those who are stunned. In California, stun guns are legal in most circumstances.
California Allows Stun Guns
As a general rule, owning or possessing a stun gun is legal in California. While restrictions do exist, they are targeted at individuals who may be prone to abusing the stun gun.
Tasers are weapons that, when misused, can have dangerous consequences. Because they can cause harm to their operators or to whoever receives their shock, the state of California has enacted regulations that prevent specific individuals from having access to stun guns. Unlike other weapons laws, improper possession of a stun gun does not generally lead to severe penalties.
Who Cannot Possess a Stun Gun?
While individuals usually are allowed to have a taser in California, certain classes of people cannot legally use a stun gun.
The following people are not permitted to possess, purchase, or use a stun gun under California law:
- People who have past felony convictions, whether in California or another jurisdiction
- Individuals who have been convicted of crimes that involve assault
- Anyone who is currently addicted to narcotics
- Minors under the age of 16 years old
- Those who have a past conviction for improper use of a stun gun
- Additionally, it is a crime to sell a stun gun to anyone under the age of 16 years old. Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 can only purchase or possess a taser with a parent or guardian’s written consent.
Penalties for Improper Stun Gun Possession
If you belong to one of the categories of people California law prevents from having a stun gun, and you are caught using one, you will face an infraction. An infraction is a criminal citation at a level below a misdemeanor or felony. For a first-time improper use of a stun gun infraction, you will be ordered to pay a $50 fine. This infraction will also prevent you from legally having or using a stun gun in the future.
After your first infraction, any subsequent offense involving a stun gun is a misdemeanor. The maximum penalties for misdemeanor improper use of a stun gun include:
- Up to six months in the county jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
If you are convicted of illegal stun gun possession, the judge will have the discretion to order you to serve summary probation instead of going to jail. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis. The judge will review your past criminal history and the facts of the incident. If your misdemeanor was nonviolent, a probation order likely would keep you out of jail.
Facing a criminal charge for possession of a stun gun in Cypress, California? Contact the skilled defense attorneys at Chambers Law Firm today at 714-760-4088 or email@example.com and schedule a no-obligation consultation with an experienced member of our legal team.